Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have unveiled the highly limited-edition Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow car, in which only there are only 12 examples worldwide, is also the last V12 coupé Rolls-Royce will ever make, as it embarks on its bold new electric era.
To mark the end of the Wraith era, Rolls-Royce designers and engineers took inspiration for the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection from the Rolls-Royce V12 ‘R’ Series aero airplane engine. In 1938, Thunderbolt rocketed to 357.497 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, a record that it held for nearly a year. The onset of World War II curtailed efforts to recapture the top spot, but changes in propulsion technology following the conflict mean Thunderbolt has remained the fastest V-12–powered car ever. With its polished aluminium body reflecting light everywhere it was almost impossible to catch exactly when it crossed past the timing equipment. Eyston’s solution was to paint a large black arrow on the car’s sides, incorporating a yellow central circle motif that could be seen clearly even at high speed. This is what gives today’s Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection its name.
Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s exclusive Bespoke finish features a full color graduation between two tones – Celebration Silver and Black Diamond. Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s fascia is decorated with a unique artwork. The intricate, tactile design skill fully depicts the contemporary V12 engine in Wraith. The highly complex design is engraved in a single sheet of black-coated aluminium to show the gleaming metal beneath. The coach doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood, in a complex design comprising over 320 multi-directional and lasered marquetry pieces that mimics the cracked, irregular surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The decadent interior continues the color scheme, with yellow leather gracing the seats, steering wheel, and dashboard. The armrests, seat gussets, transmission tunnel, door detail, door panniers and lower dashboard panel are all finished in ‘Club Leather’ – its sheen and deep black coloration provide a subtle contrast to the matte Rolls-Royce natural-grain black leather. The leather’s natural markings are intentionally emphasised to give the interior more visible ‘life lines’. Vivid splashes of yellow are everywhere the front seats, the steering wheel, the underside of the dash, in the door pockets, the front air inlets and the centre of the wheels.
On the Black Arrow, the trademark Starlight Headliner has a galaxy’s worth of fibre-optic lights, 2,117 of them. In a typical RR touch, the company has aligned the constellations to appear ‘precisely as they would have been over the Utah skies on 16 September 1938’, the date of Eyston’s record. The doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood, and each panel is made of 320 marquetry pieces, creating a dramatic, tactile surface.
The Black Arrow Collection serves as a fitting finale for the Wraith, highlighting Rolls-Royce’s peerless Bespoke capabilities. All 12 motor cars in the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection have been allocated to clients worldwide.